“I Like To Riff” – King Cole Trio (1941)

Decca; Hollywood, July 16, 1941: Nat “King” Cole-p/Oscar Moore-g/Wesley Prince-sb.

“I like to riff–‘t takes your troubles off your mind.”


Photo source.

Even though it’s not listed in the recording credits, if you listen closely, you can hear the “swishing” and tapping of high hat cymbols underneath the rhythm. Wish I knew who was sitting in on the session.


“Sweet Sue” – Bix’s cornet solo only (1928)

Photo link.

This photo was taken by a Bix fan at the “Jazzens Museum” in Sweden. But after that fan posted the photo and began an engaging and lengthy online forum discussion–as seen in the link–about this particular cornet, the consensus is that it is more than likely not a cornet that Bix owned and played.

I guess that’s what happens when one just randomly grabs photos from the internet and uses them before researching the origin or authenticity. Lesson learned. It’s too late to remake the video now so enjoy .38 seconds of Bix’s solo which may or may not have been played on the above pictured cornet.

“Down-Hearted Blues” – Bessie Smith-with piano acc. (1923)

Columbia; New York, February 16, 1923: acc. by Clarence Williams-p.

Bessie Smith’s debut recording–thanks to the support and encouragement of Clarence Williams, who also helped obtained the record contract for her and plays accompaniment on this song.

The song sold 750,000 copies in 1923 alone. Do pop bands today even sell that many singles anymore?
Bessie Smith
Photo source.

Read more about Bessie Smith: Redhotjazz.com


“Play, Piano, Play” – Erroll Garner (1947)

Dial; Los Angeles, June 10, 1947: Erroll Garner-p.

A self-composed number by Erroll Garner.

Recorded a couple of years outside of “Jazz Between The Wars,” but it’s good to step away from the thing that you are working on in order to gain a new and fresh perspective. Coming up, for comparison and contrast, the next couple of videos will again take us a few years beyond our normal period of jazz.

Speaking of perspectives …


Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty.

I see a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be.”  ― George Carlin

Joke source. Comedian, George Denis Patrick Carlin; (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008).

“Streamline Gal” – Willie Smith And His Cubs (1935)

Decca; New York, April 23, 1935: Ed Allen-c/Cecil Scott-cl/Willie Smith-p/Willie Williams-wb.

A self-composed number by the band (Scott-Smith-Williams).


Photo source.

William Henry Joseph Bonaparte Bertholoff Smith (with cigar).

Willie “The Lion” Smith took the young 15-year-old Thomas “Fats” Waller (pictured with Smith) under his wings and the first thing he did was teach Fats how to properly dress whilst playing stride piano.

And if you’ve watched videos of Fats Waller you’ll quickly see that he took the idea of flamboyance and swagger and ran with it until pneumonia took his life at the age of 39.

Willie Smith continued playing piano and smoking cigars until his death in 1973.

“Slippin’ Around” – Red And Miff’s Stompers (1927)

Okeh; New York, October 12, 1927: Red Nichols-c/Miff Mole-tb/Pee Wee Russell-Fud Livingston-cl-ts-a/Lennie Hayton-p/Carl Kress-g/Jack Hanson-bb/Vic Berton-d.

Considered by many to be the finest example of Miff Mole’s signature trombone sound and technique.

Allmusic.com describes Miff Mole’s playing as having “unusual interval jumps with staccato phrasing.” His sound has also been called “urban” and sophisticated; calm and assertive. Regardless of how it’s described, it’s safe to say that Miff’s playing style is magical and distinct and is a style in which allowed for the advancement of the trombone to a lead instrument.

Written by Mole and arranged by bandmate, Fud Livingston.

A Youtube repost: